UFC Fight Night 217: "Strickland vs Imavov" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first event of 2023 tonight at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card was headlined by a light heavyweight matchup between Sean “Tarzan” Strickland, who stepped in to compete as a replacement on very short notice, and Nassourdine Imavov.

In the featherweight co-main event, Dan “50K” Ige took on Damon “Action” Jackson. Elsewhere on the main card, Punahele “Story Time” Soriano squared off against Roman Kopylov in a featured middleweight showdown. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC Fight Night 217 card.


Sean “Tarzan” Strickland vs Nassourdine Imavov

Round 1:
Imavov landed an early leg kick and a lead left hook. He threw another left hook and an overhand right. Strickland fired back with a lunging left hand and he countered a combination from Imavov with a looping right hook. Strickland kept the pressure on Imavov with more punches and he tied him up in a clinch. Imavov broke free and Strickland landed a right hook during an exchange. Another right hook and an uppercut landed for Strickland before the end of the round. 10-9 Strickland.

Round 2:
Strickland kept Imavov on the defensive in round two and he landed a front kick and a right hand. He clinched with Imavov against the fence, but Imavov circled away. A big right-left combo landed for Strickland, who landed two overhand rights. Imavov countered with a right hook and Strickland took him down. Imavov stood and broke free from the clinch. Strickland landed an overhand right and clinched once more. Imavov landed an elbow on the break and a right-left combo soon after. Strickland clinched and Imavov landed a short right hook before the bell. Closer round. 10-9 Strickland by a slim margin.

Round 3:
Right hooks were exchanged in the opening minute of round three. Strickland jabbed and landed a lead left hook. He easily avoided a takedown attempt from Imavov, whose offence was limited. Strickland jabbed and Imavov landed a front kick to the body. Strickland landed a counter right hand and a body kick. He clinched with Imavov late in the round and ducked under an Imavov spinning backfist attempt. 10-9 Strickland.

Round 4:
Imavov tried to close the distance in round four and Strickland countered with jabs and a right hook. Strickland landed a combination, but Imavov answered with a solid right hook. Strickland resumed jabbing and he appeared to stun Imavov with a right hand. Imavov dropped to a knee and tried to take Strickland down, but Strickland remained on his feet and the fighters clinched against the cage. After separating, Strickland landed a one-two and he used jabs to set up an overhand right. 10-9 Strickland.

Round 5:
Imavov landed a right hook during the first exchange of round five, but Strickland tied him up in a clinch after countering with jabs. Imavov landed an elbow on the break and Strickland clinched with him again. Imavov eventually broke free again and Strickland landed a right hook. Imavov landed a back elbow and then a knee as Strickland ducked his head. Imavov landed two uppercuts and a lunging right hook. Strickland chased after him with punches that missed and time expired. 10-9 Imavov due to striking damage.

Winner: Sean Strickland by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 26-5-0.


Dan “50K” Ige vs Damon “Action” Jackson

Round 1:
Ige dropped Jackson to a knee with a counter right hook as Jackson tried to close the distance early on. Jackson stood and Ige landed two left hooks to the body. Jackson blocked a head kick and tried for a takedown. Ige defended and landed two uppercuts to Jackson’s eye, and his glove scraped across Jackson’s face as the fighters separated. Time was called when Jackson indicated that he had been poked in the eye. Replays showed that it was the edge of Ige’s glove and the fight resumed after two minutes. Ige landed a body kick and a right hook. Late in the round, he landed a leg kick and two left hooks that stunned Jackson. The round ended with an Ige takedown. 10-9 Ige.

Round 2:
After an exchange of right hooks, Jackson landed a hard leg kick in round two. Ige blocked a head kick, but Jackson landed a knee in close. A right hook from Ige opened a cut on Jackson’s hairline, which began to bleed into his left eye. Ige landed a lead left hook and Jackson answered with a combination that was mostly blocked. Ige landed an uppercut and then dropped Jackson like a rock with a vicious left hook to end the fight.

Winner: Dan Ige by KO (Punch) at 4:13 of round two. He improves to 16-6-0.


Roman Kopylov vs Punahele “Story Time” Soriano

Round 1:
Soriano dropped levels for a double-leg takedown attempt in the opening seconds. Kopylov stuffed it and Soriano landed a right hook. Kopylov jabbed and Soriano landed another lead right hook. A three-punch flurry scored for Kopylov, but Soriano cracked him with a left hook in response. Once more, Soriano countered a Kopylov combination with a left hand. Kopylov remained effective with his jab and Soriano’s face swelled up. He landed an overhand left and tried unsuccessfully for a takedown. Kopylov took him down into side control, but Soriano was able to get back to his feet. 10-9 Kopylov.

Round 2:
Kopylov continued to jab in round two and Soriano landed an uppercut. Kopylov used his jab to set up a left hook and he landed a vicious spinning back kick to the body. Soriano resumed moving forward and Kopylov hurt him with two body kicks. He swarmed with punches, but Soriano narrowly survived and stayed on his feet. He tried to take Kopylov down and Kopylov stuffed it. Kopylov landed one more liver kick that buckled Soriano and he landed punches until the fight was stopped.

Winner: Roman Kopylov by TKO (Kick To The Body & Punches) at 3:19 of round two. He improves to 10-2-0.


Raquel “Rocky” Pennington vs Ketlen “Fenômeno” Vieira

Round 1:
Vieira landed a nice right hook early in the fight and she used her jab to keep Pennington at bay when Pennington rushed forward. Another right hand landed for Vieira, who scored with a knee to the body when Pennington tried to clinch. Vieira landed a one-two and a leg kick, and Pennington responded with two jabs. Hard left hooks landed for both women at the same time and Vieira scored with a one-two. Pennington clinched with her shortly before the bell. 10-9 Vieira.

Round 2:
Pennington landed a strong right hand to Vieira’s jaw early in the second round and she took Vieira’s back in a standing clinch. Vieira turned into the clinch and broke free with a right hook. Pennington targeted her nose with two jabs and time was called when Vieira was kneed in the groin. The fight continued and Pennington landed a right hook. Vieira clinched and Pennington landed two knees to the body. She continued to throw knees as Vieira held her against the cage during the final minute. 10-9 Pennington.

Round 3:
Punches were exchanged right away in the final round and Pennington landed a Superman Punch. Vieira fired back with a combination and a shovel uppercut. She held Pennington against the cage until Pennington broke free with three minutes remaining. Pennington landed a one-two and initiated a clinch of her own. Vieira reversed it and punched Pennington’s body until Pennington landed a knee. Vieira scored with an elbow and took Pennington’s back. She kneed Pennington’s thigh and Pennington punched backwards to Vieira’s face. 10-9 Vieira.

Winner: Raquel Pennington by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 15-8-0.


Umar Nurmagomedov vs Raoni Barcelos

Round 1:
Barcelos struck first with a right-left combo and Nurmagomedov landed three kicks to Barcelos’s leg and body in response. He switched stances and landed a front kick to the body and a left cross. Barcelos caught a body kick and landed a left uppercut. Nurmagomedov landed a counter right hook as Barcelos stepped forward. Nurmagomedov jabbed and threw a front kick to Barcelos’s face. He landed another front kick and a hard left hook. As Barcelos closed the distance, Nurmagomedov landed a body kick and a left hook almost simultaneously. The left hand knocked Barcelos out instantly and sent him crashing to the mat.

Winner: Umar Nurmagomedov by KO (Punch) at 4:40 of round one. He improves to 16-0-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)